Classes

Disciplines: Languages; Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences; School of Management; Other
  • Japanese Language and Linguistics

  • Web-Based Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIST)

    The goal of this project is to develop an entirely new advanced blended learning course on GIST as it is used on the World-Wide Web. This course will build and draw upon open-access online GIST content for use by Five College students in a flipped course model. The supporting in-class component will focus on a team-based service-learning project. The material we produce will be made available as open access for all campuses, but also will have global reach through a group co-PI Schweik co-leads called GeoForAll.org.
  • The Impact of Blended Learning Techniques in a Research Methods

    The goal of this project is a) to increase student engagement in class content, improve the depth of student learning, and develop student skills related to collaborative idea building using blended learning approaches, b) to identify measurable learning outcomes and develop appropriate assessment materials, and c) to investigate the impact of these blended learning strategies on identified student learning outcomes. Several faculty members within the Psychology department at Smith College have begun to integrate idea-centered learning, specifically an online blended learning technique, into the teaching of Introduction to Research Methods. The proposed pilot project will further these efforts by facilitating the implementation and assessment of blended learning approaches aimed at increasing deep learning.
  • Roman Archaeology

    In Roman archaeology (Classics 301), students are engaged in a conversation about the ways in which Romans made their material culture meaningful how we, two thousand years later, can come to find that meaning and understand their history. The pursuit of the Romans, therefore, confronts students with an ancient Mediterranean civilization in all its surviving forms – art, literature, architecture, and common implements of daily life – as well as a number of analytical tools archaeologists use to discover them. While traditional methods such as excavation and pedestrian survey are critical, new, technologically infused approaches in Roman Archaeology continue to challenge students to think critically about how collecting evidence influences what we can say about the past. Moreover, by its distance in both geography and time, ancient Rome is doubly foreign to the modern student, forcing her/him to evaluate modern biases as a barrier to interpretation. Roman Archaeology, addresses the some fundamental questions about the foundations of western civilization (including, importantly, its myths), about what is unique in modernity, and what intellectual tools are available to speak to those questions. In assignments, students in the classroom are regularly asked to work in groups, just as they would in the field, to think critically about the evidence generated by their tasks, and to build up historical interpretations based on layers of such evidence. These interpretations are then communicated in a number of visual formats, but long form narrative writing remains the primary mode of expression. Finally, because archaeological evidence is heterogeneous and the methods of its analysis are interdisciplinary, students delve into a wide range of literatures and information formats that they learn to navigate on the way to understanding Roman culture. Students receive feedback in many assignments, first from peers in brainstorming sessions as they wrestle with the data in these assignments, and later from the instructor both in in-class review discussions and more formally via Moodle. Thus, there are two primary goals for this course. The first is to illustrate the material history of the Romans with their art, architecture and cities and to peer into the lives of people who would otherwise remain invisible, including the lower classes of society. A second goal is to explore the methods used by Roman archaeologists to help write the history of the classical past.
  • Elementary Italian

    The goal of this project is to develop tutorials and audio conversations for out of class work that will allow students to improve the listening and comprehension skills, to review, practice and consolidate the instruction they receive in class. The constant use of new tools will allow students to be regularly updated on the course program and prepared to engage in class activities. By integrating a recording component, students will practice and express themselves in Italian more often outside the class and in a more creative way.
  • Introduction to the Japanese Language

    The goal of this project is to create different types of learning tools with which students in introductory Japanese can practice before coming to each class. This approach will enable us to focus on the functional aspects of practice and assessment in the classroom. This project therefore focuses on developing materials to facilitate the mechanical aspects of learning, such as vocabulary, everyday expressions, numbers, reading characters and producing simple sentences (asking questions and responding) among others.
  • Writing from the Diaspora: Contemporary Women's Literature

    The goal of this project is to facilitate deep engagement with the literature, and to enable students to participate in varied, open-ended, cooperative and individual work. The focus on blended learning work allows students to draw relationships between the literary and historical evidence and data gathered through archival testimonial sources. Using these resources in conjunction with selected online tools, students will learn how to present and visualize interactive data taken directly from the literary sources - Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, Toni Morrison and Claudia Rankine.
  • Chinese Character Literacy

    Want to learn Chinese from scratch? Or, have little prior exposure and want an opportunity to solidify your Chinese proficiency? Then, this is the course for you. This course introduces and provides basic and solid foundation for Mandarin Chinese pronunciation, tones, grammar patterns, speaking, listening, reading and writing. You are expected to preview and review the materials thoroughly before and after each class. It is crucial that you see, hear, speak, write and have hands-on experiences with Chinese language everyday, so in addition to class meeting, you must be willing to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours per day outside of class. Chinese characters are considered to be the most difficult yet essential and pivotal component of learning Chinese as a foreign language, so in this course, we will also help you acquire Chinese character literacy deeply and meaningfully for your long-term learning goal through character video viewing and making methods.
  • TEST CLASS

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  • Introduction to Visual Storytelling

    As mediums, photography and video never been more popular. Approximately 10 percent of all the photos every taken, according to one source, were taken last year, while about 10 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube in the time it took you to read this sentence. Amidst such change, it’s no surprise that visual journalism has evolved dramatically in the 21st Century. Visual journalists need to be good at takin pictures and video, of course, but they also need to be dogged, creative, ethical and independent multimedia reporters. More than 150 million Americans carry around video cameras because they own smartphones, and what they see and share on social media has profoundly changed how we interpret the visual truth about the world. The goal of this class is for you to become a better visual storyteller and to understand how images and video work best in the journalistic ecosystem. You will learn how to use still and video cameras manually and the best practices for editing your images and video. In partnership with your classmates, you will develop a visual literacy, answer ethical questions and discuss the importance of visuals in contemporary journalism. You will apply what you learn about these topics to produce empathetic and credible visual journalism in your community. This course will pioneer a new set of blended learning materials sponsored by a grant from the Five Colleges. That means your homework will often be to watch introductory or technical skills videos, and come to class prepared to apply what you’ve learned in the discussion and practice of more advanced and creative topics. From this moment forward, you should carry your camera everywhere!
  • Fundamentals of Music Theory

    This is a course in both thinking about music and thinking in music. In this course, you will learn to think about music, often in ways you never have in the past. In addition, you will learn to think in music the way Western musicians do — learning to read music notation as sound, and to hear music as concepts, ideas, and notation. Along the way, you will learn, develop, and apply mathematical and algorithmic reasoning skills in the pursuit of better understanding Western music theory. We will begin to think critically aboutlarger topics, such as how music communicates emotion, and how this might change between cultures. Your work in class and your homework will involve various kinds of musictheoretical problem solving. Your homework, quizzes, and final exam will assess and evaluate how well you have assimilated these concepts and skills.
  • Media in Cars

    Media are becoming less like TV sets and more like intelligent environments. This is less sci-fi than it sounds. In fact, there is one nearly century-old example of this sort of transformation of media-in-the-built-environment, the automobile. Radios were installed in cars during the 1920s. But it was the post-war period when a long line of more advanced and better-integrated media came to be an essential part of cars – and the experience of automotive travel. Today, this seems perfectly normal. But it was not at all inevitable. Today’s cars go a step further, being highly digitalized environments whose most extreme version will be the self-driving or autonomous automobile. This advanced seminar will explore the history of media in cars, partly as a means of envisioning a future sometimes called the internet of things, a world of embedded and interconnected media. Our inquiry will revolve around three sets of general questions: (1) how did the growing presence of media in cars alter the social experience of automobility, (2) what were the car interior design considerations (aesthetic and ergonomic) necessary to accommodate evermore integrated media and (3) what does the history of media in cars reveal about potential future interface-relationship behavior in a material world of dispersed and embedded media?
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